Prepare and Take Exams


How to Get the Most Out of Studying: Part 5 of 5, "I Blew the Exam, Now What?"

Top Tips

1) Start Early
Check out our resources on note taking and time management. If you listen in lectures, take good notes and manage your time, you will set yourself up for exam success!

2) Understand Expectations
Consider what is expected of you. Are exam questions going to be pulled from lecture material, assignments, readings or all of the above? Is the exam cumulative (does it cover everything since the first class)? If you’re unsure, ask your professor.

3) Research the Exam
Consider what type of exam you are preparing for. The answer will impact how you study. Talk with your professor to find out the type of questions that will be on the exam (multiple choice, short answer, essay, etc.). Prepare accordingly.

4) Find the Practice Exams
Old exams are great practice before the real thing. Never assume that old exams will follow the same material or ask the same type of questions.

5) Plan Ahead
Practice answering exam questions in advance. You can make your own questions from your notes and assignments. This will help you recall material, build connections and identify important course themes

Top Tips Handout

Enhance your Wellness

To manage exam anxiety:

  • Remind yourself that it’s normal and ok to feel some stress or worry about an exam because your success matters to you!
  • Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, slow walking, or progressive muscle relaxation before an exam.
  • Get enough rest and exercise before exams and eat a nutritious breakfast.

Read about specific strategies to reduce test anxiety here:

Learn more about anxiety, how to relax, and how to challenge your worries here:

For more wellness resources, see

Student Support Areas

Additional Information

Retrieval Practice: Study Strategy

Learn More about Retrieval Practice: Explanation | Poster

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Steps to help you prepare for you exams. Keep them in mind when end of term rolls around.

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